News blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf neighborhood

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Live north of 85th? Metro Transit is offering free ORCA card

August 7th, 2014 by Mike

This post courtesy of our sister site PhinneyWood.

Metro Transit’s new In Motion program for North Seattle and Shoreline aims to encourage people to use transit, bicycle, walk or carpool.

So it’s offering a free ORCA card good for two weeks of unlimited travel to anyone who pledges to change some of their trips from driving alone. This round of the program is for anyone who lives or works in north Seattle north of  Northeast 85th Street, or in Shoreline.

Just register online and record your weekly progress. (Must be at least 16 years old and have at least one car in your household to participate.) The program runs for 12 weeks.

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A musical Night Out in Maple Leaf

August 5th, 2014 by Mike

Music from improv jazz at the Maple Leaf Reservoir Park…

…to raucous covers of bands of yore (Go-Go’s. Yes!), at this Night Out party on Northeast 88th Street.

Seattle’s 30th Annual Night Out Against Crime is over.

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Silver Platters, SAS Shoes, others to leave Northgate Station for light rail

August 4th, 2014 by Mike

Sound Transit got back to us today, confirming it will acquire Northgate Station -  the strip mall that houses Silver Platters, SAS Shoes and several other stores.

The site will instead become a part of the link between the Maple Leaf Portal and the Northgate Light Rail station.

“As the station and guideway construction plans moved past 90% it became apparent that we would not be able to maintain reasonable access for the businesses for at least two years while we build the guideway through the area,” emails Bruce Gray, public information officer for Sound Transit.

“Four of the large columns supporting the guideway will be on the property and as the designs progressed, it became clear that we can’t put them in while maintaining access to the tenants.”

The mall is immediately south of the Northgate Transit Center, and just east of First Avenue Northeast and Interstate 5.

Gray said that by now all the businesses in the mall should have been contacted.

Sound Transit will pay for all moving expenses and up to $50K in costs associated with reestablishing their businesses at a new location. Our people will also help the businesses find suitable new locations and work closely with them throughout the process.

In other light rail news, Sound Transit emailed on Thursday:

The first of two tunnel boring machines that will build the Northgate Link tunnels between the University of Washington Station and Northgate Station is having a good start. Today it will have travelled 500 feet since crews began mining south from the Maple Leaf Portal near NE 94th Street in early July. Crews expect the first TBM to reach Roosevelt Station in early 2015.

The light rail line here is set to begin operating in 2021.

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News about three Maple Leaf businesses – including the vacant building across from the park

August 4th, 2014 by Mike

Sharon emailed last week: “Probably you have noticed…my husband and I saw a land-use action sign re: the block across from the park (Northeast 86th Street and Roosevelt Way Northeast, I think) last weekend.

“It announced a 20-unit mixed use development.”

We hadn’t noticed. It’s the building/parking lot with the Maple Leaf Park design displayed, which once belonged to the former owner of Maple Leaf Ace Hardware.

It’s a great location, and over the years many local businesses have eyed it.

According to the permit application, the proposal for the property at 8521 Roosevelt Way N.E. is for a “4-story mixed use structure containing 20 residential units and 5,000 sq. ft. of retail.

“Parking for 20 vehicles to be provided at grade and ten vehicles within the structure. Existing structure to be demolished.”

The new owner is listed as MRN Holmes LLC, at 7556 12th Ave. N.E.

Green Skunk

Mike emailed today:” I noticed this morning as I was pushing my bike with a flat tire on the sidewalk down Roosevelt,  that the location of our neighborhood medical cannabis pharmacy on the 9400 block appears to have cleared out over the weekend.”

Indeed. The Green Skunk, which moved to 9414 Roosevelt Way N.E. only last October,  is empty.

There’s no information on its web, Facebook or Twitter sites, and its phone has been “temporarily disconnected.”

Maple Bar

The new Maple Bar will open Saturday, Aug. 23th.

We know because the owners had the table next to us at the Maple Leaf Summer Social, and told us so.

It replaces the departed-but-lamented Maple Leaf Grill at 8929 Roosevelt Way N.E.

Get a first glimpse at its food here.

Bonus business: Setsuna.

It’s just north of Maple Leaf, but the Japanese Setsuna Restaurant building, just north of QFC at 11204 Roosevelt Way N.E., is signed “up for sale.”

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Sunglasses loser seeks sunglasses finder

August 4th, 2014 by Mike

Sachiyo emails:

I took my twins to the Maple Leaf park on 8/2 in the evening. I had my sunglasses (brown Coach sunglasses) that my sister bought for me when she visited me from Japan this spring and noticed they weren’t with me.

I went to the area I thought I lost those (at the double slides by the zip line) and asked people there, and they said someone found them and was looking for a person who lost them.

I went to the area where the swings were and asked the same thing and was told the same thing, but the person who found my sunglasses were gone and my sunglasses as well. I was wondering if I could post my comment somewhere so that the person might contact me.

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Celebrate community with your neighbors on Night Out Seattle this Tuesday

August 3rd, 2014 by Mike

This post courtesy of our sister site Queen Anne View.

This Tuesday, August 5th, is National Night Out, an evening to meet your neighbors, share a potluck or BBQ, host a kiddie parade, or compete in outdoor games. Anyone can organize a Night Out event for neighbors.

You can even have your non-arterial street shut down for the evening (6-10pm) to keep it safe and expand your community space for a neighborhood party. All you have to do is register your event online and if you want to close your street, officially register your Night Out event with the City of Seattle.

Summer weather continues for the week, so get outside and get together with your neighbors to celebrate community and build a support network. One of the best ways to deter crime in our neighborhood is to have watchful neighbors, and National Night Out is an effort to help reduce crime – and have fun at the same time!

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Merlin versus American Robin(s)

August 2nd, 2014 by Mike

After the thunderstorms … an avian tableau.

This young Merlin Sharp-shinned Hawk (right) is perched on a Douglas Fir high over Maple Leaf Life South.

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Update: Simone texts from eastern Washington, where she is flying falcons to protect crops, that our Sharpie is in fact a Merlin, she believes.

(Why? “Chunky body. Shorter tail than Shin. Fatter head than Shin, too. Hard to age Merlins sometimes but my guess adult but very hard to tell.”)

We believe her. She’s been a far better birder than we since we met her well over a dozen years ago. She was then …  14?

Merlins are rare in Seattle. From Simone’s 2011 post:

Merlins are much smaller than Peregrines, about the size of a robin, and usually hunt from the top of a prominent perch (i.e. the top of a tree), keeping an eye out for songbirds below. Merlins appear dark or even black and do not posses the “mask” of a Peregrine Falcon.

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This American Robin – plus at least one other adult robin and two Anna’s Hummingbirds – were not happy about it.

The robins have a nest – with two fledglings – about 50 feet away.

Earlier in the day a Pileated Woodpecker appeared briefly in the front yard – a first for us, and making our 49th 50th (Merlin) yard bird.

(We’ve got a long way to go, Dennis.)

For more posts on birds locally click here.

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Thunderstorm – followed by dogs on the run

August 2nd, 2014 by Mike

Update 4 p.m. Black Lab Martha missing from Northeast 89th Street and 12th Avenue Northeast. Is chipped.

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News of two dogs loose following this morning’s storm:

The NextDoor site that covers Maple Leaf and Northgate posted this:

After the thunderstorm this morning I saw a large black and white dog going down Northeast 85th Street from Fifth Avenue Northeast down towards Latona Street. If you or a neighbor are missing a large black and white dog – that is the direction he was headed.

And Susan emails: “We found an old yellow Lab walking along Northeast 115th Street close to 15th Avenue Northeast. No collar or microchip. Any way to post this?

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Thunderstorms bring power outages, sleet

August 2nd, 2014 by Mike

Noon: This morning’s thunderstorms have resulted in numerous small outages around Seattle, but only one two in  Maple Leaf, affecting 36 37 customers.

The cause was lightning.

Col. Anthony Bolante, a neighbor, tweeted: “I just saw/felt a lightning bolt touch down on Phinney Ridge while in my living room on Maple Leaf hill! Now, it’s sleeting!”

So far it’s only rained .05 inches at Maple Leaf Life South, but it came down in a hella hurry.

Cliff Mass has posted on the storms under the head: “Thunderfest over Western Washington.”

In a special weather statement, the National Weather Service in Seattle said: “If thunder roars, head indoors!” It has counted 35 164 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes in the lowlands in western Washington around Puget Sound.

The Seattle City Light power outage map is here.

The forecast, though, is for sunny and 82 degrees this afternoon.

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Matthews Beach closed by sewage until next week

August 1st, 2014 by Mike

Matthews Beach – the closest Lake Washington beach to Maple Leaf  and one of the busiest swimming beaches in the city – was abruptly closed Friday afternoon when fecal coliform levels were found to have soared into the red zone.

From Seattle Parks:

On a recommendation from Public Health – Seattle & King County, Seattle Parks and Recreation has closed Matthews Beach Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. Routine weekly water quality testing revealed that the bacteria levels in the water were too high for swimming.

The water will be tested again on Monday and the beach could re-open as early as Wednesday, Aug. 6.

This could be similar to a closure in 2004 when our news partner The Seattle Times wrote: “Matthews Beach Park in North Seattle was found to contain high amounts of aqueous sewage pollution — likely from geese and other animals — prompting officials to close the beach until the bacteria level drops to a safe standard.”

For updated information, including this chart:  http://green.kingcounty.gov/swimbeach/BeachData.aspx?locator=0818SB&CurrentYear=true

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Results of the non-comprehensive Maple Leaf Life survey at the Summer Social (plus more pictures!)

July 31st, 2014 by Mike

Chickens.

We got ‘em. We like ‘em.

(Actually, raccoons seem to have gotten a few of them. Nonetheless, we like keeping them. Alive. A lot.)

That was a standout result of our completely unscientific survey at the Summer Social on what interests our  Maple Leaf neighbors.

The Maple Leaf Life high-tech, interactive, hands-on survey tool.

The blog’s WordPress software provides a list of the most popular “tags” we use on posts. It looks like this:

But those are the tags WE put on the posts.

We wanted to find out what YOU thought. More or less.

It appears, besides chickens, a lot of you want to know about crime. (Except for those who don’t. But nobody checked that box – possibly because we forgot to create it. But you could have written it in….)

We also forgot to make a box specifically for prowled or stolen cars – the most common crime in Maple Leaf and Seattle as a whole.

Here’s what we got, though:

We were a little surprised at the interest in transit – which might have been a write-in. But we enjoy generally good bus service – remembering that the Northgate transit area and mall rank highest in juvenile petty crime in the city.

We also like dogs (and the Maple Leaf Dog Oasis!)

Cats, too. We’re big on finding lost pets and getting them home.

We post frequently on weather – in part because we’re like that and in part because there’s a Davis Vantage Pro2 on the roof of Maple Leaf Life South, so, why not?

More people were interested in snow, though.

With that report out of the way, here’s some more photos from Wednesday’s night’s Summer Social. (Click on “more” to go there.)

(more…)

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Black cat lost from N.E. 89th St. and 15th Ave. N.E.

July 30th, 2014 by Mike

Update Aug. 1: He’s back.

We found Devin a few hours ago! We would have had no idea which direction to begin looking if it weren’t for the quick blogger response. Really… words simply cannot express my gratitude!

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Brooke emails tonight:

“I was hoping you could put this flyer for my lost cat on the blogsite?

“Thank you for your help, I’m going to paper canvas the neighborhood tomorrow, but am doing any internet stuff I can right now. THANK YOU!”

The flyer says Devin Foss, 15 years old, snuck out after a bath July 28th between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. He lives at Northeast 89th Street and 15th Avenue Northeast.

He is neither collared nor chipped, but has a healing cyst on his left ear.

Call 206-708-1680 or 206-549-3865.

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Hundreds attend 19th annual Summer Social

July 30th, 2014 by Mike

Face painting at the social by Moonpaper Tent.

On a warm, sunny evening, with a sliver of moon overhead, hundreds of Maple Leaf residents (and their dogs!) attended the 19th Annual Maple Leaf Summer Social.

Congratulations to the Maple Leaf Community Council for their success.

More photos coming on Thursday. Plus a report on the entirely unscientific poll we conducted on what neighbors want to hear about.

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Maple Leaf Reservior Park = “peak park experience”

July 30th, 2014 by Mike

5:30 p.m. Setting up for the Maple Leaf Summer Social

As the neighborhood is heading to tonight’s Summer Social, 7 – 9 p.m. at the Maple Leaf Reservoir Park, it’s nice to hear it’s one of the best places in the city for kids.

That’s the word from ParentMap, in a post this week entitled Summer in the Cities: 6 Cool Communities to Explore Around Seattle.

Have you heard the loving raves about Maple Leaf Reservoir Park (1020 N.E. 82nd St.), the renovated two-story park in this northeast Seattle neighborhood? The upper section, located at one of the highest points in the city, covers the old reservoir and boasts a .5 mile circular bike path, pickleball and basketball courts, and a vast field that bustles with action.

The photo they took is exactly where tonight’s social takes place.

They also suggest visiting Cloud City Coffee, the Snappy Dragon and Math ‘n’ Stuff.

ParentMap’s other recommendations include Issaquah, Renton (the Wave Pool), Greenwood, Richmond Beach and Beacon Hill.

ParentMap’s picture of our park. Photo: Emily Johnson

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Come to Wednesday’s Summer Social in the park (and bring a couple cans of food)

July 29th, 2014 by Mike

The 19th Annual Maple Leaf Summer Social kicks off Wednesday, running from 7 -9 p.m.

This year, it’s back in the Maple Leaf Family Terrace (the playground area of Maple Leaf Reservoir Park).

That means sprinklers probably won’t interrupt the fun. This time.

This year, also bring along a can or two for the North Helpline food bank, which will have a table at the social, as will North East Seattle Together.

We’ll be there, too.

For more information on what to bring to the food bank, click here.

For more information about the social, try the Friends for a Greater Maple Leaf Park Facebook page.

The playground is at Northeast 83rd Street and Roosevelt Way Northeast.

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